Projections Show Increased Probability Of Water Shortage In Lower Basin

By Will Stone
Published: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 5:19pm
Updated: Sunday, August 26, 2018 - 7:35am

A new federal report has grim projections for the Colorado River in the coming years.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation forecast a 57 percent chance of a shortage in the Lower Basin in 2020. That’s up from earlier projections. If that happens Arizona would face cutbacks in its supply of Colorado River water stored in Lake Mead.

This year is one of the driest years in more than a decade. Another year like it could bring down the reservoir level by 20 feet or more by mid-2020.

Whether Arizona will actually lose water won’t be decided till next year. The report comes as Arizona and other Southwest states try to devise a drought contingency plan aimed at reducing the state’s consumption of water in hopes of avoiding an eventual shortage declaration.

Science Sustainability